Today, as the lingering rain clouds drifted away, sunshine began to emerge and the bare branches on the trees behind the house began to shine. The bamboo was glistening in the brightest green, and I finally edged my way out onto the patio. In the shade, it was still very cool. But in the sun, it was exquisitely warm!
There is something magical that is activated in me when I sit in the sun – something primal and instinctual. In the past few years, I simply cannot get enough of it, especially during the spring and fall months! I feel like I am watching a movie or attending an event – I sit silent and still, facing the sun with my eyes closed, and am utterly absorbed into it. I feel very blessed to have spent two afternoons receiving a strong dose of sunshine medicine this week.
As the sun made its way across the patio, the warm spot kept retreating into the yard. The ground was still very soggy from heavy rains yesterday, but beneath the tall Pine tree, it was completely dry. A thick blanket of pine needles covered the ground, and made a perfect nest for sunbathing. I stretched myself out there, cushioned in a most luxurious way, and continued to absorb the magical early spring sunlight. After a while, I sat up and faced the sun again, and in the stillness and silence that had filled me, I began to receive guidance. Guidance in staying centered, in following the being-ness of the Pine, tall, fluid, and deeply rooted.
When we are truly centered in ourselves, we are available to life. Contrary to what some people may believe, it is not selfish to be centered in ourselves! Truly, from that place of centering we are finally present and able to connect beyond ourselves. It is so easy to become so blurred in our boundaries, lost in thoughts of “should” and caught up in who we believe we are supposed to be, and distracted in the busyness of our days, that finding center can seem like another distraction or task to add to the list. But when we are able to be still enough in our bodies, and allow the mind to settle and still itself through practice, there are incredible new layers of understanding and knowledge available to us.
How to begin? Meditate. Even for a few minutes a day. Giving ourselves permission to take the time for ourselves in this way is a big step. It is important to let go of attachment to any kind of results, as well. There is no perfect result of meditation! The result is the meditation itself. When we show up day after day and cultivate a practice of meditation, we are allowing a little window to open up inside of ourselves. The more we practice, the more available we are to what is beyond that window – peace of mind, self-understanding, relaxation in the body, inner strength, and deep insight into our lives and the nature of reality. These are not goals, however, they are the natural results of the practice itself. So, allow yourself some space to begin, to simply sit, perhaps with the afternoon sun as your companion. There is no right or wrong way, only the sitting itself. Namaste.